Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It's Raptorthon Season. Join the fun!

Spring is here, even though it doesn’t look a whole lot like it here in snowy New Hampshire. Phoebes, woodcocks and hermit thrushes are back and raptors are certainly on the move overhead. It’s at this time each year when HMANA celebrates Raptorthon, a great way to head out and enjoy a day birding while raising funds for monitoring sites and HMANA programs. We invite you to take part this year!
Over the past 8 years, Raptorthon has raised over $32,000 for raptor migration programs and watch sites. I think that is pretty terrific. And in my opinion the best part about Raptorthon is that it directly supports HMANA’s Hawk Watch Fund. Raptorthon makes it possible for us to offer Hawk Watch Fund grants each year to sites to help them purchase equipment, create interpretive signs or hire educators. It’s one the greatest ways HMANA is able to give back to the monitoring community.

This is how Raptorthon works…From March 1-May 31, simply choose a day and decide where you’d like to count; your local watch site, your backyard, or tour around anywhere to find as many species as you can. Count by yourself, with friends, or as part of a team. Find as many raptor species as possible during that day (or include ALL bird species if you wish). Then you register with HMANA, assign a percentage of your proceeds to a watch site or other conservation organization and let your friends or colleagues know you are raising money for a great cause! Free t-shirts when you register.
Here are a few of the teams that are participating this year. If you choose not to participate, please consider supporting one of these.

Jerry Ligouri
Jerry Ligouri is our featured Raptorthoner this year and will be doing his Raptorthon on April 16th at Grandeur Peak, Utah. Half of pledges go toward supporting HMANA programs like and Hawk Watch Fund grants and half goes directly to HawkWatch International programs. Jerry has also donated this year's Raptorthon prizes, a copy of his field guide, Hawks At a Distance and a beautiful framed Northern Harrier print.
Frank counting at West Skyline

Veteran raptorthoner, Frank Nicoletti will be conducting his Raptorthon in late April where he counts at the West Skyline Hawk Watch in Minnesota. Half of the funds he raises will support the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory and half will fund HMANA programs.
Rich Conroy
Rich Conroy is the site coordinator for Militia Hill Hawk Watch in PA and will be conducting his annual Raptorthon there on April 23-24th. Proceeds will support the Militia Hill hawk watch, a site sponsorship on Hawkcount and HMANA's Counting for Raptor Conservation campaign. The Militia Hill funds keep their bird feeder station stocked, cover the cost of printed materials/handouts about the hawk watch for distribution to the public and for educational materials for classes that visit us. They also donate to park upkeep through a Friends group.

Team Fly Like an Eagle is back again for their fifth year, comprised of Vic Laubach, Brenda Tekin, Gabriel Mapel and Penny Warren. Their event is April 23rd and will be raising funds for the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch in VA and HMANA programs.
Teammates and their new interpretive sign
made possible by Hawk Watch Fund grant in 2013.

Please visit to support these and other teams, to learn more about participating and to download forms.

Happy spring birding!